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Are Christian Fiction Books Worth Writing?

It’s a question I thought was obvious in high school. Why, of course I should write Christian Fiction books! The books would let me tell others about Jesus. The stories would provide an escape for those enduring suffering. The content would be appropriate for all ages from middle school girls to aging women. What could be wrong with the stack of pastel books with scrawling fonts that I brought home from the library every summer?

Then I started college. I walked up the steep, creaking floors of the English department and dropped my book bag next to the small metal desk. I took out my notebook, colored pens, and planner. And I overheard the most shocking thing.

The sophomores hated Christian Fiction. They didn’t just mildly dislike certain authors or maintain a respect for the genre but dislike reading it for themselves. They held a passionate distaste for the characters, plots, and writers. My brain was spinning, and I felt like a fool. I believed my life’s work was to write Christian Fiction, and here, at a Christian college, I heard more backlash on the genre than I had heard in my public high school back home.

It took several weeks before I got to reopen a Christian Fiction book and analyze what the other students were talking about. I was shocked to find that they were right. The plot was boring; the characters sniveled; the setting was so nondescript that the book could have taken place anywhere. What had happened to the great books of faith that got me through the hardest times of my life? Now, books where characters grappled with the question of good and evil ended with the character magically getting a dose of faith without an answer. That didn’t help me when I wasn’t sure I believed God’s promises were for me anymore.

I spent the rest of my college career debating if Christian Fiction books are worth writing. Both my capstone and thesis projects centered on the topic. I studied critics’ analyses, the rules of the genre, and commonalities in the stories. The issue of Christian genres became a topic very close to my heart.

In that spirit, I’m going to use my Friday blog posts to do a deep dive on the topic. Next week, we’ll discuss if books of faith must be written under the banner of Christian Fiction. What are your experiences with the Christian Fiction genre? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Are Christian Fiction Books Worth Writing?

  1. Whoa, very excited for this series. Thanks for doing the hard work and digging in when most cynics (read: me) would forsake the task.

    1. Thank you! I completely understand! I still go back and forth on the subject myself.

  2. Um…you really spent your college career analyzing this? You spent all that money to analyze and tell people they should or shouldn’t read a genre of books? You analyzed it because you decided it was stupid and you wanted to convince other people it is also stupid? Like, there are people dying of cancer, people hurting, homeless, but you analyzed Christian fiction for your college career? lol. Okay. I hope your parents didn’t pay for that.

    1. I apologize that I didn’t make myself clear. I feel called to write blogs and books that share the love of Christ with the world. I studied writing techniques, the history of the English language, and religion so that I could write with excellence to honor the Lord. During that process, I learned that there are different ways of marketing books that engage with the Christian faith, and I am writing this blog series to explore that. My goal is to encourage us all to write the best books of faith that we can so that God’s Kingdom will be spread. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and engage with it. I enjoy reading your work and want to encourage you in that while also grappling with the question of genre for myself.

      1. I’m sorry I said that so harshly. My eyes are a mess today and it’s been this long cruddy week but that is really no excuse for being rude. Please feel free to delete this exchange and know I will definitely be more open minded in the future. Good grief..I don’t know what I was thinking leaving that comment but really I wasn’t thinking very well. My sincere apologies for my rudeness today.

      2. Thank you. I’m sorry you’ve had a bad week! I’m saying a prayer for you!

      3. You’re such a sweetheart. Dealing so nicely with someone who clearly was a jerk to you. Oy!

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